Parents' Guide to

State of Affairs

By Kari Croop, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Complicated D.C. drama has a fierce but flawed heroine.

TV NBC Drama 2014
State of Affairs Poster Image

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Primetime hits such as Scandal, The Good Wife, and Homeland are proof that political thrillers built around strong female leads can be popular with both viewers and critics, breaking new ground along the way for women in television. But, although the similarly themed State of Affairs is clearly aiming for the A-list with stars such as Heigl and Woodard, it feels like it's a little late to the party -- and that it got lost along the way.

The cons include a plot that vacillates among the convoluted, the confusing, and the flat-out improbable, with a lead actress who, although likable, isn't always believable as a high-level CIA operative at the top of her game. As far as pros go, though, the show shoves aside outdated boundaries by making the U.S. president not only a woman but a woman of color, broadening the standard definition of "executive power" and rolling out a refreshing new role model.

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